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01st Oct 2022

Hypnotherapist jailed for making woman engage in sexual activity while she was ‘under’ his spell

Steve Hopkins

When Roper’s victim woke up he tried to ‘put her under’ again

A hypnotherapist has been jailed for more than two years after making a woman engage in sexual activity without consent while she was “under” his spell.

Ian Roper “commanded” his victim to remove her clothing while making her think she was sitting on a hot sun bed and rubbing sun cream on her body, a court heard.

And when the mesmerised woman finally woke up, the 58-year-old then attempted to “put her under again” so she wouldn’t know what had happened.

Roper initially claimed the allegations against him were false when police quizzed him, but he later pleaded guilty during a trial at Bradford Crown Court.

Sentencing Roper to 29 months’ imprisonment on Friday, Recorder David Gordon told Roper his interests had been motivated by “selfish and sexual” desires.

He said: “You were purporting to administer a therapeutic treatment but it is clear you never intended anything of the sort and your interest was selfish and sexual.”

The court heard that the woman, who can’t be named for legal reasons, was assaulted during her second hypnosis session with registered therapist Roper.

In the meeting, prosecutor David McGonigal said the defendant had initially “put her under” by touching her shoulder and had then taken her to her “safe place”.

He said the complainant then became aware of the defendant’s voice becoming “sexy” before he started sitting closer to her.

McGonigal told the court: “He said the only thing that mattered was his voice, and she had to listen to his command.

“He told her she was lying on a sun bed getting hotter and needed to rub imaginary sun cream on herself.”

McGonigal said Roper took the woman’s bra off and then told her to remove her clothing as she continued to rub herself with the imaginary cream before she woke up.

He said: “She managed to come round and pushed the defendant away.”

But when she stood up to dress, McGonigal said Roper took hold of her and tried to “put her under again”, saying she would not remember what had happened.

McGonigal added: “She wanted to get away as soon as possible.” After the woman complained to the police, Roper, of Calderdale, West Yorkshire, told officers he’d never had sexual liaisons with anyone while under hypnosis.

During a later police investigation officers found five indecent images of children and one prohibited image of a child on Roper’s laptop.

Roper pleaded guilty at his trial to causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent and possession of the indecent images.

Ian Brook, defending Roper, confirmed that his client was a qualified hypnotherapist but said his attempts to set up a practice had been short-lived.

He added: “He’s no intention at all to continue hypnotherapy with ladies or gentlemen.”

Recorder David Gordon jailed him for 25 months for the sexual offence with an additional four months for the indecent images.

The judge also said that Roper would have to register as a sex offender for the next 10 years and enforced a restraining order against him.

Recorder Gordon further imposed a 10-year sexual harm prevention order, which includes a ban on Roper working as a hypnotherapist.

And addressing Roper, he told him his offending was a very clear breach of trust and said he had engaged in a sustained assault on a complainant who had been vulnerable.

He said: “It is clear from her victim impact statement that she has suffered no serious physical injury, but she has suffered severe psychological harm.”

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